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28-11-2017 | Rheumatoid arthritis | Review | Article

Cytokines in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis: new players and therapeutic targets

BMC Rheumatology

Authors: Alessia Alunno, Francesco Carubbi, Roberto Giacomelli, Roberto Gerli

Publisher: BioMed Central


In recent years, the landscape of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines has rapidly expanded with the identification of new members proven to be involved at different extent in the pathogenesis of chronic immune mediated inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The advance of our understanding of mediators involved in the pathogenesis of RA and in consequence, the development of novel targeted therapies is necessary to provide patients not responding to currently available strategies with novel compounds. The aim of this review article is to provide an overview on recently identified cytokines, emphasizing their pathogenic role and therapeutic potential in RA. A systematic literature review was performed to retrieve articles related to every cytokine discussed in the review. In some cases, evidence from animal models and RA patients is already consistent to move forward into drug development. In others, conflicting observation and the paucity of data require further investigations.Forty years after the discovery of IL-1, the landscape of cytokines is continuously expanding with increasing possibilities to develop novel therapeutic strategies in RA.

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